Minutes of the meeting of NELPG Ltd
7.30 pm, 21st January 2020
Middlesbrough Motor Club
Present: Nigel Bill, Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Paul Hutchinson, Roy Marshall, and Richard Wheeler.
1. Apologies for Absence –Apologies for absence were received from Colin Foxton, John Hunt and Chris Lawson. Richard Wheeler chaired the meeting.
2. Declarations of Interest – No interests were declared.
3. Minutes of Previous Meeting – The minutes of the 17th December meeting were not yet available.
4. Matters Arising Not Covered Elsewhere
4.1 The action on Bill Dobson to convene a Locomotive Sub Committee had been subsumed by the meetings at Hopetown to discuss the J72 Project. In the fullness of time, these meetings would allow wider discussion of locomotive matters.
4.2 Bill Dobson said that he and Barney Casey had concluded that new tyres were required for the T2 tender wheelsets. Paul Hutchinson advised that Neal Woods had the contacts to get prices for these and for the K1 driving wheel tyres (the original estimated cost for these would need to be refreshed). Delivery was expected to be some 9 months from placing the order. Sizes for the tyres would be needed. Action: Bill Dobson to get prices for T2 tender tyres. The Chairman said that the Financial Strategy Committee had requested a 5-year projection of significant expenditure in order to profile funding needs – Locomotive Caretakers were asked to identify significant expenditure. Action: Bill Dobson and Paul Hutchinson. Ian Storey to discuss with Fred Ramshaw and J27 caretaker – see below.
4.3 Nigel Hall asked the meeting to consider the offer made by one of our members to provide members with discounts on car tyres. It was suggested that an advertisement in NELPG News might be the best way to proceed. Action: Nigel Hall to invite the member to take out an advertisement.
4.4 Nigel confirmed that he was in active discussion with William Nutbrown and had taken up William’s offer of assistance with the website.
4.5 Paul Hutchinson said that he and John Hunt had a meeting planned with WCRC at which the issue of increased hire fees for the K1 would be broached. Paul said that his gauging measurement of the K1 was almost complete – he had produced drawings which would be sent to the gauging company (D Gauge) to be assessed – money had been saved by taking this approach. It was suggested that Teesside University or Aycliffe College might be able to undertake 3D scanning at minimum or no cost, for any future gauging.
4.6 Through a telephone call with Richard Pearson during the meeting, Paul Hutchinson was able to advise that Richard had discussed our preferred option of moving into the new shed at Darlington with Graeme Bunker of the A1 Trust. Our interest had been noted.
4.7 The Treasurer said that the COIF investment had reached £90K at the end of December. That investment was currently valued at £91,975. A further £20K was to be invested.
5.1 The Monthly Finance Report, Movement in Funds and Asset List had been circulated by the Treasurer. The following points were discussed:
5.1.1 The Treasurer reported that he had balanced the Accounts for 2019 to within £8.00.
5.1.2 The Accounts showed that our funds were some £270K better than last year.
5.1.3 The Treasurer suggested that it would be sensible to invest more of our funds – the Yorkshire/Clydesdale Bank was offering 1.8% on 2-year investments. This would be considered.
5.1.4 The suggestion of full 20% depreciation on the crew van in 2019 was agreed.
6.1 Nigel Bill had asked whether late renewal of membership could affect our realisation of a quorum at the SGM. The Chairman confirmed that membership was deemed to continue until the end of February, so there would be no impact on the SGM.
6.2 Nigel Hall went through the procedure to follow if a quorum was not obtained – the Articles set this out clearly. In summary the meeting is reconvened a week thence and the members present are deemed to be a quorum, if a quorum is not obtained within half an hour of the start of the meeting. Nigel also set out the requirement for the vote on each motion to have a 75% majority, including proxy votes.
6.3 Paul Hutchinson asked about the whereabouts of the “Lord of the Isles” nameplates. Several Trustees thought they were in the brass store at Hopetown.
7. AGM 2020
7.1 The Treasurer said that the Accounts were ready to be submitted to Ribchesters.
7.2 There were 2 contributions to the Officers’ Reports outstanding. The Secretary would issue a reminder. Action: Secretary.
7.3 The cost estimates for the J72 overhaul were discussed. These would inform a Motion to ask for members approval of expenditure. An estimate of £40K for the cylinder block had been provided, including pattern, casting and machining. Tenders for the boiler work, in response to the ITT, would provide a further amount to be included. Expenditure to date and a forecast for further mechanical work would also be used to inform the motion.
7.4 It would be vital to have these inputs to the AGM Supplement in time to inform the Motion and it was agreed to copy the AGM Timeline to Ian Storey, Neal Woods and Dave Pennock. Action: Secretary.
8. J72 Project
8.1 The Secretary confirmed that he had the approval of sufficient Trustees to issue the ITT for the J72 boiler repair. The ITT would be issued later that evening. It would be important to confirm the J72 Project Team members and structure, and identify next steps following issue of the ITT. It was agreed that regular updates on progress to the Board from the team would be required. It would also be important to record and share any questions and clarifications resulting from dialogue with any of the 4 potential suppliers as they prepared their tenders.
8.2 It was felt that, to avoid over-complication, the tenders should be evaluated by no more than 2 or 3 people (Ian Storey, Neal Woods and Dave Pennock were suggested). Neal had already set out some thoughts on criteria for evaluation. The Secretary was asked to share the essentials of the Board discussion with Ian, Neal and Dave. Action Secretary.
9. Health and Safety
9.1 Two places had been booked on the ORR Risk Management Seminar for Nigel Bill and Bryan Orange. A third place had been requested, but, as yet, no response had been received from HRA.
9.2 Nigel Hall had raised concerns about the H&S situation at Hopetown. Procedures and record keeping had been inadequate for some time. Although the checking and records for lifting gear, portable electrical appliances and fixed wiring were in good order, other areas, such as use of machine tools, fire safety, first aid and COSHH were in need of attention. It might be necessary to get outside help to speed the resolution of these issues and two suggested names were offered (by the Treasurer and Nigel Hall). It was agreed that funds would be made available as necessary. The concerns would be referred to Bryan Orange, but it was agreed to “get on with it” Action: Nigel Hall.
9.3 Paul Hutchinson observed that the COSHH information, formerly held in the Support Coach, was missing – he was already taking action to replace it.
9.4 The report of Steve Hyman’s accident was received and noted pending further enquiries.
10. Any Essential Locomotive Updates
10.1 The appointment of Chris Henwood as Locomotive Caretaker for the J27 was confirmed formally (Chris was effectively filling the role). The Secretary would write to Chris and to NYMR MPD leads. Action: Secretary.
10.2 Paul Hutchinson set out his plans for Winter maintenance on the K1. Whereas he had originally planned to spend some £10K on the locomotive and £15K on the coach, he now proposed to spend a further £5K on the locomotive and make do with patching the coach, thus deferring some coach work to next Winter. These proposals were agreed.
10.3 Paul said that it was proposed that the K1 would head a railtour from Fort William to Glasgow or Edinburgh (confirmed with WCRC), would return to NYMR for the Gala and then go to Bo’ness for the SRPS Gala, followed by some potential work around the Edinburgh area. Action: Paul Hutchinson to provide confirmed details of planned post-Jacobite work for the K1.
11. Any Other Business
11.1 The possibility of taking on the Thornaby Class 37 diesel locomotive was discussed. The Board concluded that it was not an appropriate direction for the Group to take, nor had we the resources and skills to cope. It was also pointed out that considerable spares would be needed. Action: Chairman to write to Cliff Plummer and the other respondents, notifying them of this conclusion.
11.2. Paul Hutchinson sought and received approval for the payment of expenses to cover accommodation, food and fuel for a small number of volunteers providing support to the K1 at the Great Central Railway over the coming weekend.
Date of Next Meeting – 18th February 2020
The meeting closed at 9.25pm.